Country Smothered Pork Chops

 

Country-smothered-pork-chops

I seek new food experiences, in restaurants or my own home kitchen. In fact, I fall into the pop-culture category, “foodie”. I am just one of millions. Our culture has long passed the time when a meal at the local steakhouse with the endless salad bar was our idea of a night on the town.

We now pursue new and different flavors. There are upscale restaurants up and down every city street. We can easily find every ingredient under the sun at the large supermarkets in many cities. Including ingredients that our grandmothers never had in their pantries.

And, as much as I enjoy a good meal at a fancy restaurant or trying a new recipe, I often crave old-time home cooking. This Country Smothered Pork Chops recipe, from Chris Chamberlain’s The Southern Foodie, is an uncomplicated, easy to follow recipe. You most likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry, and the flavor is incredible. It is easy enough to prepare on weeknights but special enough for your Sunday table. My serving suggestions would be to serve with rice or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

 

Country Smothered Pork Chops
 
Author:
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup to 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 center-cut pork chops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium onions, cut into rounds
  • 1 qt. hot water
  • 2 tbsp. Kitchen Bouquet
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Cooked long-grain white rice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet. Season the pork chops well with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a medium bowl and dredge the chops in the flour, coating both sides. Shake off the excess flour. Add the pork chops to the skillet in batches and fry for 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Place half of the chops in a baking dish or casserole dish. Place half of the onions on top. Repeat the layering with the remaining pork chops and onions.
  3. In a large bowl mix the water, Kitchen Bouquet, cornstarch, ¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper, and garlic powder. Pour the mixture over the pork chops and onions. Cover and bake for 1 hour, until tender. You may serve over rice or serve plain.

 

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Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry Basil Salsa

blueberry salsa

 

As far back as I can remember I was a daddy’s girl.  There are home movies of my dad hitting golf balls in the front yard; I was tagging along with him with my little club, at about one-year-old.  I hate it for my mother, but if there was ever a side to pick I was always on daddy’s side.  Not long after he retired, I quit my job to stay at home with Wes.  Wes and I, and then Savannah after she was born, spent many days with daddy, we were pals to the end.

Cancer was the cause of my dad’s death, but he had suffered from Alzheimer’s for years.  I suppose it was a blessing that daddy, or we, his family, never had to face the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  They are both terrible diseases, and I hate them!

On a VERY personal note… I now live in fear of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Not a day goes by that it does not enter my mind at some point.  If I misplace my keys or sunglasses Alzheimer’s is the first thing that comes to mind.  If I forget to do something I secretly freak out a little bit.  I am constantly reading articles about foods you should eat or vitamins you should take to prevent it.  I can’t make it through The Notebook without crying hysterically.  I avoided seeing the recent movie, Still Alice.

Because of this I try to incorporate blueberries into my diet daily.  They rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidants.  Studies show that they improve memory and provide protection against Alzheimer’s, and they are delicious!

From scientificamerican.com: Emerging research suggests that compounds in blueberries known as flavonoids may improve memory, learning and general cognitive function, including reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension and numerical ability. In addition, studies comparing dietary habits with cognitive function in adults hint that consuming flavonoids may help slow the decline in mental facility that is often seen with aging and might even provide protection against disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Here is a great way to serve up fresh blueberries.  This blueberry-basil salsa is amazing, especially served with grilled pork, chicken or fish.  If you do not care for basil or cilantro feel free to adjust to your taste.  It will still be delicious!

Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry Basil Salsa
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. fresh blueberries
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
  • ½ scallions, chopped
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ c. basil, loosely packed and very thinly sliced
  • ½ c. cilantro, loosely packed and roughly chopped
  • pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey, if desired
  • 2 lb. boneless pork chops
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1½ quarts water
  • ½ tbsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
  • cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine 1½ quarts water, ½ tbsp. salt and ½ tbsp. sugar. Whisk until salt and sugar have dissolved and add pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for about 8 hours.
  2. For salsa: Place 2 cups blueberries in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped, about five times. Transfer to a medium bowl, add chopped jalapeño, scallions, red onion, lime juice, salt, basil, cilantro, and remaining blueberries. Stir to combine and taste. If desired add a pinch or two of sugar or a drizzle of honey. Stir and taste again. Cover and chill a few hours before serving.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high.
  4. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry. Drizzle both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through.
  5. Serve immediately topped with a generous spoonful of blueberry salsa.

 

 

 

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Chops

bacon wrapped jalapeno popper stuffed pork chops

 

My family is crazy about “poppers” of any kind…pheasant poppers, venison poppers, or plain jalapeño poppers.  We do them all of the time as appetizers but I had never tried the idea as a main course.  I recently decided to try a jalapeño popper stuffed pork chop.  I found a recipe on I Thee Cook and I used it as a guide.  You could easily substitute chicken or venison if you wanted.

The thick-cut boneless pork chops were stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, and jalapeño peppers, then wrapped in bacon.  My family went crazy!  They were so scrumptious!  Serve with mashed potatoes and asparagus for a wonderfully delicious and easy meal!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Chops
 
Author:
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 8-oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 4 thick center-cut boneless pork chops
  • Zesty Italian salad dressing
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon
  • toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut an opening in the long side of each chop. Make a slit in the chops, leaving approximately ½ to 1-inch uncut on both sides and on the bottom of the chop.
  2. Place the pork chops in a large Ziploc bag and cover with Zesty Italian dressing. Remove air, zip closed and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.
  3. Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator and remove from marinate, set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and diced jalapeño together in a medium bowl.
  5. Stuff each pork chop with approximately ¼ cup of the cream cheese mixture. Tightly wrap each chop with 2 slices or bacon, securing with toothpicks.
  6. Place in a baking dish, not touching each other. Bake at 400°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through. Let chops rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

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